SUMMARY: The toxicity of -alkanes, -alk-1-enes, -alkan-1-ols and -alkyl-1-bromides towards 107 and is related to their solubilities in an aqueous medium. -Alkanes of chain-length longer than C, -alkenes longer than C, -alkyl bromides longer than C and -alkanols longer than C generally do not inhibit growth and respiration. Toxicity may be reduced or relieved if oxidation by the yeasts can occur or if a non-toxic aliphatic compound is also added. Relief of inhibition is not dependent upon the oxidation of the non-toxic compound. It is also produced when the biologically inert hydrocarbon, pristane, is added. These effects are attributed to the reduction of the solubility of the toxic compound by the added compound in accordance with Raoult's and Henry's Laws. If the solubility of the toxic material is decreased below a critical level, growth on it as sole carbon source may occur with either of the two species of These results imply that small amounts of potentially deleterious compounds need not affect the growth of micro-organisms on petroleum hydrocarbons.


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